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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Small Compact Digitals by Canon 
Thread started 04 Jul 2012 (Wednesday) 22:11
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Good underwater camera?

 
kja
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Jul 29, 2012 00:21 |  #31

Yes, as always one must choose the correct gear for the specific needs.

RetroBlader wrote in post #14784239 (external link)
Perhaps more importantly, even the toughest ones can only go down to 30-40 ft. That may be plenty for snorkling, but nowhere near enough for scuba-diving.

I take my little guy on almost every dive because most of the dives in my local area max out around 14m ish (40ish feet). In many places vacation divers in particular go, this is pretty normal and it's often where most of the action is!

I also took it along on my deeper dives in Bonaire because I wanted stuff at the beginning/end of the dive and getting in and out - didn't try to take photos at depth as I know from experience that it doesn't actually like shooting at 14m but it didn't hurt it (OK, in reality, I totally forgot I had it with me coz I was going to test it out LOL).

If you're gonna dive a lot or dive deep or want to expand your system etc - housing a good compact, 3/4 or dslr is the way to go.

If you're going to putter on holidays and/or want a romper of a camera that's happy with pretty much anything you throw at it & that you don't have to spend much time futzing with, then I'd suggest not fooling with a housing.

just my own two cents from my own experiences - advice on the internet is worth what you pay for it sometimes :D


Kristin

  
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RetroBlader
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Jul 29, 2012 00:22 |  #32

spear wrote in post #14766060 (external link)
I think the S100 with the underwater housing would be a perfect camera for underwater use. It has a very fast wide lens and has RAW capability as well as great performance at low ISO.


Unfortunately, refraction underwater makes things look much larger, making lenses much less wide than they are on land.

The S100's "24mm" will actually look more like 35-40mm -- not wide at all.

Most serious UW photographers use accessory "wet" lenses (or a UWA/fisheye lens inside a dome port) to get true wide-angle views underwater.

As it turns out, most of the available wet lenses are designed to work with 35mm or 28mm lenses, so a S95 will actually work better with wet lenses than a S100. (Yes, you can zoom the S100 lens to 28mm, but then the maximum aperture becomes F2.2, slower than the S95's F2.0.)


:cool:


Above water: 7D | 400D | 10-22 | 17-55IS | 15-85IS | 85/1.8 | 100L IS | 70-200/4L IS | 70-300IS | 100-400L | 580EX II
Underwater: S95 + WP-DC38 + dual dive lights | Olympus OM-D E-M5 (await housing)
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Need/Want: More time for photography (And some talent would be nice.... :lol:)

  
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RetroBlader
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Jul 29, 2012 00:49 |  #33

kja wrote in post #14784280 (external link)
max out around 14m ish (40ish feet). In many places vacation divers in particular go, this is pretty normal and it's often where most of the action is!

Colours are definitely more vibrant in shallower water: Due to absorption by water, red starts to disappear after 10-15 ft, and most of the orange & yellow gone after 50-60 ft.

Even with RAW, one cannot get back colours that are not there.

The only way to get full-spectrum colour at depth is by supplying your own light -- either with a strobe or with a dive light (or multiples).

kja wrote in post #14784280 (external link)
If you're gonna dive a lot or dive deep or want to expand your system etc - housing a good compact, 3/4 or dslr is the way to go.

Yes, but housings for better cameras are expensive! ($1500-2000 for a basic DSLR housing, while better DSLR housings can easily cost $3000 or more. Even a basic m4/3 housing costs $800, and good ones are over $1300.) And that's before one adds the costs of wet lenses (or lens ports for cameras taking interchangeable lenses), trays/arms, and strobes!

Until one knows if one is serious enough about UW photography to invest in a full system, housing a good compact may be a relatively inexpensive way to start. The basic Canon housing for S95/S100 is only $230 or so.

kja wrote in post #14784280 (external link)
If you're going to putter on holidays and/or want a romper of a camera that's happy with pretty much anything you throw at it & that you don't have to spend much time futzing with, then I'd suggest not fooling with a housing.

Yes, I agree most people's "underwater" needs can be very well served by a "tough" P&S.

However, if they already have a P&S they want to keep using, the housing route (either with a ziplock-type "housing bag" or a basic polycarbonate housing) is just as valid.


:cool:


Above water: 7D | 400D | 10-22 | 17-55IS | 15-85IS | 85/1.8 | 100L IS | 70-200/4L IS | 70-300IS | 100-400L | 580EX II
Underwater: S95 + WP-DC38 + dual dive lights | Olympus OM-D E-M5 (await housing)
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Need/Want: More time for photography (And some talent would be nice.... :lol:)

  
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Merlin_AZ
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Jul 29, 2012 09:27 |  #34

I got a Panny TS4 for a trip to Tahiti a few months ago.
Took it diving down to 40 feet.
It works great.


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RetroBlader
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Jul 29, 2012 09:59 |  #35

Merlin_AZ wrote in post #14785381 (external link)
I got a Panny TS4 for a trip to Tahiti a few months ago.
Took it diving down to 40 feet.
It works great.


Nice photo.

Was it a gorgeously timed over-and-under shot (extremely hard to do with a non-domed lens), or a composite of two shots?

I remember those black-tip sharks -- the smaller ones come right into the lagoons where those over-the-water bungalows are located, so every time you snorkel, you are "swimming with the sharks".

However, they are totally harmless if you don't harass them:

IMAGE: http://retroblader.smugmug.com/Photography/Technical/i-gJrJszQ/0/M/DSCF4253-M.jpg


:cool:

Above water: 7D | 400D | 10-22 | 17-55IS | 15-85IS | 85/1.8 | 100L IS | 70-200/4L IS | 70-300IS | 100-400L | 580EX II
Underwater: S95 + WP-DC38 + dual dive lights | Olympus OM-D E-M5 (await housing)
Full Gear List
Need/Want: More time for photography (And some talent would be nice.... :lol:)

  
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Merlin_AZ
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Jul 29, 2012 11:01 |  #36

Thanks Retro!
It's a composite with a "water brush" separating the two at the water line.
It's actually pretty funny telling friends we were "covered in sharks."
They don't believe me until I show them the video, and the fact that no shark cages are involved.
They are truly amazing animals. Even moreso since we didn't have any issues.




  
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PAFirefighter11
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Aug 15, 2012 08:46 |  #37

If it's not too late, I LOVED my GoPro setup!

IMAGE: http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/photos/i-ZjzB2FV/0/M/i-ZjzB2FV-M.jpg

Photos from Bonaire here:
https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1216373

Video's from Bonaire here:
https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1216375

IMAGE: http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/photos/i-L4DdFhN/0/XL/i-L4DdFhN-XL.jpg

Rick R
My stuff: Nikon D750, D2x, D7200, D7100, Canon AE1 Program, random glass, Alien Bees, Speedlight, etc
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Fricks
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Aug 15, 2012 08:50 |  #38

i used my 5d3 for underwater shots

IMAGE: http://www.frixpix.com/Other/Hawaii/i-SXPrCXb/0/XL/017C4137-XL.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.frixpix.com/Other/Hawaii/i-59VPkt3/0/XL/017C4172-XL.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.frixpix.com/Sports/Big-Beach/i-shcd3sp/0/XL/017C6592-XL.jpg



  
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Merlin_AZ
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Aug 15, 2012 10:01 |  #39

Nice shots, guys.




  
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islandboy
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Aug 15, 2012 11:12 |  #40

I am very leary about the all-in-one, "rugged" p+s cameras. All of them are plagued by complaints of leaks. The olympus line probably has the fewest complaints but poorer picture quality, the canon, sony and panny have better picture quality but more leak complaints. Also, the panny recommends that you replace the seals once a year so factor in that cost and inconvenience. Even if a warranty covers the leaks, the loss of mypictures and trip memories is much more valuable than any potential repair costs.

The sealable bags make it difficult to use all of the camera functions and are also plagued by leak problems and image problems so those would be my last choice.

I prefer a compact camera in a devoted underwater housing and have shot that way for the past 7-8 years. I don't have the money to devote to a dslr housing so the compact route was the best option for me. I think Kristin drammatically overexaggerates the prep time and maintenance for the devoted housings, in fact, the only thing I agree with is the bulkiness. It takes 5-10 minutes to remove, inspect, regrease the o-ring. Then a 3-5 minute freshwater rinse after salt water exposure (which you also are recommended to do with the rugged compacts) followed by an overnight soak in the sink or tub while I sleep to dissolve any residual salt and I am back to the ocean again. The only thing I don't like is the bulk of packing a separate housing when I travel.

With their raw capabilities and fast lenses, I think the Canon s95/s100 are great options for anyone that likes to snorkel or dive. I use a g11 in a housing now but if I had to buy something today, I would get the s100. If you spend most of the time on the beach or in the pool, you can probably take your chances with one of the rugged compacts.


Canon EOS 40D, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Canon 70-300/4-5.6 IS, Speedlite 430EX II, G5, G11 with underwater housing, Powershot A95 with underwater housing, SD850is, Vixia HF S100

  
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Merlin_AZ
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Aug 15, 2012 20:26 |  #41

I agree with you over the concern taking a P&S rugged camera down to depths that might leak.
I took a Panny TS4 to 40', hoping my shots and videos would survive, and they did.
One of the composite shots is a few posts above this one.




  
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kja
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Aug 15, 2012 21:25 |  #42

LOL I don't think I dramatically over exaggerated anything :D I just broke it down into steps - it only takes a few minutes (probably not even then 10 on your upper end range), but it still should be done to minimize your risk of leaks.

I firmly believe, based on my experiences as an owner and as someone who deals with other people & their cameras, that leaks occur more frequently in rugged cameras because people don't really expect to have to take care of them as carefully as they do a dedicated housing. The mindset is more it's a rugged camera, let's go! Which is fine, but water loves to sneak in when there's a teensy bit of something on a seal :) Knock wood, I have never replaced seals or had a leak on my ruggeds. Not on my Canon housings either.

Every single option has pros and cons. Hopefully with all the input on this thread it will help the next person figure out which pros and which cons are important to her/him & make the choice easier.

imho for ease of use & all rounder & for those who under the water is only a small part of their needs = Panasonic TS3/4; for pretty easy use & better quality images & more flexibility & for those who prioritize time underwater = small compact in a housing.

All life's a trade-off.


Kristin

  
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Lien
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Aug 16, 2012 13:26 |  #43

I have been shopping around for a few weeks for a rugged P&S mainly for waterparks, pool, beach, and snorkeling. Ended up purchasing the Olympus TG-820 iHS after many reviews and consideration of features. Just received my TG-820 from Amazon a few days ago, need some more time for testing. I considered the Canon D20 which had pretty good reviews but decided against it due to the larger size, button design, and slow operation. The Olympus TG-820 seems like a good compromise overall with great reviews. I want a tough camera to throw in my pocket when I'm out around town or to a trip to the waterpark. I highly considered the Panasonic TS20 or TS4 but many reviewers complain about leakage.

I believe all waterproof cameras needs the seals to be replaced annually to maintain the warranty. Olympus told me to send my TG-820 before the 1 year warranty is over to have the seals replaced for free. Afterwards, you have the option to have the seals replaced for $38 or buy the Olympus 2 year extended warranty which includes seal replacements for $50.


Canon 6D | Fuji X100 | Fuji XE-2 | Canon 24-105L | Canon 50 1.4 | Canon 85 1.8 | Canon EF 70-300 IS USM | 430EX | 270EX

  
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Merlin_AZ
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Aug 16, 2012 14:03 |  #44

One issue I've had on trips is finger smudges ruining shots.
The lenses on these are small and always exposed.
When you're in the water, there aren't any dry shirts or towels around, obviously :), and you don't recognize there's a problem until you get the images on the computer screen.




  
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fernamil
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Aug 18, 2012 14:32 |  #45

A good waterproof case is almost always going to outperform an underwater camera, as long as it isn't one of those plastic baggie kinds of "cases".

For one, the waterproof case will likely have a greater depth rating, and you can have your choice of cameras (as long as there is a case available for it).

The downside to a case is portability and convenience.

I used to have a FantaSea case, and it was just too bulky to carry around as an everyday item, so I sold it and bought an Olympus 8010. The case had a 200 meter depth, but I only go to snorkel depths, so the 33ft depth rating of the Olympus was enough for me.

Whatever you get, realize that you have to shift the color balance to the red for the best photos. My Olympus has an underwater color balance setting, the case had a screw-on red filter.

And you could do it in photoshop.

As for a P&S, the TX200V looks great based on the review at http://www.squidoo.com​/sony-tx200v (external link)




  
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